JTHS Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Taylor, Joliet West Class of 2011
Career & Education At-a-Glance
- University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Bachelor of Arts in English
Ashley Taylor, Joliet West Class of 2011, has strived to always be the best she can be and now has the opportunity to share her creativity and talents with Chicagoland through a career in event production. Having a strong work ethic and the support from those who believe in her, Taylor is a lifelong learner and explorer who is bound to continue making strides in her career of choice.
She began her journey at Troy Elementary School and continued on to Troy Middle School. While at Joliet West High School, Taylor challenged herself and took advantage of many opportunities available to her beyond the classroom. She was an indispensable member of Tiger Paws Poms, Varsity Golf, National Honors Society, National Spanish Honors Society, National English Honors Society, Mock Trial, Speech Team, Contest Play, Fall and Spring Plays, and TNN Morning News.
Reflecting on the high school teacher that inspired her, she said, “Janice Sheehan was and still is my inspiration. She is a dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic, thoughtful, approachable, caring, and engaging mentor. She became a second mother of sorts to me while in school. Through her mentorship, I was able to secure a full ride scholarship for college. Further, her advising allowed me to determine what I wanted to do with life, professionally and personally. I am forever indebted to Janice for all of her advice during my high school years.”
Taylor went on to attend the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign on a full-ride scholarship, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English in May of 2015.
Describing her current job responsibilities as a Sales and Operations Coordinator in Event Production for the Chicago-based company Savage Smyth, Taylor said, “I assist in the creation, implementation, and completion of portions of events spanning from social to political to corporate productions. I also advise on vendor selection, as well as serve as a base for ideas. In addition, I provide client services for clients wishing to explore more creative and in-depth productions.”
When asked what advice she would give to students today, she said, “Spend as much time as you can exploring, trying new things, and engaging new people. The more you open your mind to, the better a person you will become.”